Simple Whole Roasted Duck

12 Jan

hny 2013

Happy New Year!  I hope 2013 is off to a great start for everyone.  David and I had a terrific holiday season, and I have quite a few recipes to catch up on!

First, dinner from last night: a very simple roasted duck.

duck - from long island

We recently introduced whole roast duck into our dinner repertoire.  Previously, roasting a whole duck somehow seemed more labor intensive than roasting a whole chicken, but it’s really not that different.  If you get good, fresh duck — and we get lovely Long Island duck here in New York — then a simply roasted duck is delicious.  I also love getting all the fabulous duck fat after roasting a whole duck, which I like to strain and keep so that I can use duck fat to roast vegetables (SO GOOD).

I like to roast the duck at a high temperature, bringing the temperature down later.  This method helps make the skin nice and crispy.  The simplest, no-frills way I have come to roast a duck, is as follows:


  • Whole fresh duck (about 5 lbs.); take out the neck and set aside
  • 1 orange, pierced all around with a fork (I used a juice orange)
  • A small bunch of thyme
  • Few garlic cloves
  • 5 carrots, whole, skin on, ends trimmed (you can use more than 5 if you love carrots — they will be deliciously and decadently roasted in duck fat)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Kettle of water, boiled

Preheat the oven 450F.

Put the duck in a roasting pan.  With a knife, poke holes all over the skin.

duck - poke holes

Set the pan in the sink.  Bring a kettle of water to a boil, and pour the water all over the duck.

duck - pour hot water

The hot water will shrink the skin.  Turn over the duck, breast side down, and let it “bathe” in the hot water for about 5 minutes.

duck - bathe in hot water

Take the duck out of the water, pat dry.  In the cavity of the duck, place the garlic cloves, thyme, and juice orange.  Truss the duck.

duck - stuffing items

Salt and pepper the duck liberally, all over.  In a dry roasting pan, place the carrots and then put the duck on top of the carrots (I don’t own a roasting rack, so I use carrots instead — you can also just use a roasting rack).  Place the neck in the pan also.

duck - trussed ready for oven

At 450F, roast the duck, uncovered, for 45 minutes.

After 45 minutes, baste with its fat and turn down the oven temperature to 375F.  Roast at this temperature, basting a couple of times, until the inside temperature taken at the thickest part of its thigh reaches 150F (about another 25 minutes).

duck - out of oven

Take the duck out of the oven, and transfer to a platter.  Let the duck rest for at least 10 minutes.  Throw away the neck and take out the carrots (use a fork to make sure they are cooked through — if some are still uncooked, you can continue roasting them until cooked, either in the pan or transferred into a smaller pan).  Strain the fat into a glass container to keep.

duck - keep the fat

After resting, carve the duck and enjoy!  Whole roast duck is just perfect for winter.  Last night, our dinner was quite “German” inspired, with some cabbage cooked down in white wine and vinegar, and cranberry sauce.  Delish!

duck - dinner plated


9 Responses to “Simple Whole Roasted Duck”

  1. buttoni January 13, 2013 at 4:39 pm #

    Your duck looks beautiful! Ya left out the last step LOL…….a full cleaning job of your oven to get off the spattered grease else it burns the next time you use your oven. I can’t cook duck without having to clean my oven afterwards. But duck is so good, I keep right on cooking them. LOL I look forward to trying your carrot “rack” method. 🙂

    • tomoko January 18, 2013 at 11:17 am #

      I hope the carrot “rack” works out for you! I keep the skin on the carrots, and just cut off the ends. And if some of the carrots aren’t cooked through by the time is duck is out, I continue to roast them. They are delicious! (Decadent, I know, roasted in all the duck fat!)

  2. James April 25, 2013 at 7:53 pm #

    This duck tastes great. But I can’t stop thinking about the carrots. Mother of god!!! They are to die for. Thanks so much for that idea

  3. Sundrops Wane May 19, 2013 at 1:49 pm #

    Why dont you use an Reynolds oven bag to cook and roast your ducks? No spattered grease anywhere’s!

  4. David Wright September 19, 2013 at 1:37 pm #

    I made roasted duck for the first time ever tonight and used this recipe. Simple and easy and oh-so-delicious. I never leave comments for stuff like this but felt compelled to comment.

    • tomoko September 19, 2013 at 1:45 pm #

      Thank you! I am glad your roasted duck was a success!

  5. Randi McDaniel January 12, 2015 at 10:30 pm #

    Just made this tonight and my family loved it! I had never made a duck before today, but we have all decided we will be making it again! This was easy to make and tasted fabulous. Thank you for sharing!


  1. Roasted Duck Paleo Wrap Recipe - August 3, 2013

    […] that made this meal come together nicely.  Big thanks to “Eat. Live. Paleo.” for their great duck recipe as well!  And thanks for taking a few moments to check out my Paleo blog of the “Roasted Duck […]

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